Don Hankins

don hankins

Don Hankins is a Professor of Geography and Planning at California State University, Chico.  He has a B.S. in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Davis.  His interests and expertise is in the following areas: pyrogeography, ecohydrology, landscape ecology, intervention ecology, conservation, environmental policy and Indigenous stewardship.  This expertise is applied to his courses in pyrogeography, water resources policy and planning, and nature and restoration. Don has been involved in various aspects of environmental planning, stewardship, conservation, and regulation for a variety of organizations and agencies including federal and tribal governments. Drawing from his academic and cultural knowledge he is particularly interested in Indigenous traditional knowledge and policy and their application as a keystone process to aid in conservation and stewardship.  He has published several articles specific to Indigenous prescribed fire and the social dynamics of colonization on cultural burning.  Amongst other projects his current research includes longitudinal studies of fire effects on biodiversity, cultural resources and hydrology and overall environmental resiliency in riparian forests, oak woodlands, and meadows in California and Eucalypt and tea tree woodlands in the Cape York Peninsula, Australia.  These projects involve working with local Indigenous communities in the respective areas in order to achieve a broader framework of collaborative stewardship and learning.  Don has also been active in policy related to Indigenous stewardship particularly as related to fire and water management. 

CV - Don Hankins

Teaching Summary
GEOG 106 - The American West, GEOG 317 - Field Techniques, GEOG 405s - Nature and Restoration, GEOG 426 - Water Resources Policy and Planning, GEOG 427 - Environmental Impact Analysis, GEOG 444 - Biogeography, GEOG 445 - Pyrogeography , GEOG 602 - Physical Geography Seminar, GEOG 660 – Landscape Ecology Seminar.

Research Summary
•             Fire and Biodiversity in the Kaanju Ngaachi Indigenous Protected Area (IPA), Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia
•             Fire and Biodiversity in California Oak Woodlands
•             Interrelationships of Fire and Water in Meadow Ecosystems
•             Indigenous Fire Knowledge Systems and Experiences (in collaboration with Christine Eriksen)
•             Perceptions of Fire in the Wildland Urban Interface (in collaboration with Christine Eriksen)

Service Summary

  • Cultural Burning Network (subgroup of Fire Learning Network), Advisor
  • Northern California Prescribed Fire Council, Member, Policy Committee, Training and Education Committee 2012-present
  • California Indian Water Commission, Advisor, Member, 2011-present
  • Butte County Fire Safe Council, Secretary 2007-present
  • Forest Ranch Fire Safe Council, Neighborhood Delegate, 2008-present. Currently engaged in regional prescribed fire planning for Forest Ranch area in collaboration with Terra Fuego.
  • Cache Creek Conservancy, Steering Committee Member for the Tending and Gathering Garden, 2000-present.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture/ U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Proper Functioning Condition (Rapid riparian assessment methodology) California cadre member 1999-present


  • Arboretum Committee, Member, Committee Chair 2006-2014
  • University ‘M.K. Udall Scholarship’, Faculty Representative, 2007-present


  • Field Director for CSU Chico Ecological Reserves 2007- Present
  • Leaves Committee, Member 2011-present
  • Scholarship Committee, Member 2009-2013


  • RTP Committee, Member 2011-2014, Chair 2012-2014
  • Graduate Committee, Member 2009, Chair 2011-present
  • Scholarship Committee, Chair 2009-2013
  • Curriculum Committee, Member 2009-2012